After travelling for 12 days through some of the most remote parts of Australia, we arrived back in civilisation in Darwin. Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, it is the most northern city in Australia. It is tropical with hot temperatures all year round and lots of rain in the wet season, our summer. It is not a large city but very modern because it had to be rebuilt after the cyclone,"Tracy" completely destroyed the whole city in 1974. Our tour with 'Outback Spirit" ended with a bus tour of Darwin and a visit to the Military Museum.
This house was one of the few that survived the cyclone. It has been kept as an example of the type of homes that used to be in Darwin before the cyclone. New ones are built to cyclone standards and are more modern.
After we said goodbye to our tour companions, Ann, George and I continued our holiday for a few more days. Firstly, we joined a half day "Ultimate Tour". We were picked up at the hotel and driven to the airport, where we boarded a small float plane , which took us south of Darwin into the wilderness and landed on "Sweets Lagoon".
In the lagoon there was a big pontoon with a boat, a helicopter and an airboat waiting for us.
There were 10 of us on the tour, which started with a relaxing cruise on the pristine lagoon. We also enjoyed a BBQ Barramundi fish lunch.
When we returned to the pontoon we were divided into groups. Some went on the airboat and some in the helicopter.
The first ride in the airboat was a fast lap where we zoomed around the lagoon at speed and then we entered the wetlands and zoomed around the trees. It was exhilarating and wet.
At one point the driver slowed and stopped and fed these wild pigs.
We returned to the pontoon and then boarded the helicopter without doors, which is good for photography if you are game to let go of the widow edge.
The young pilot buzzed along the lagoon the tipped on its side as we turned towards a patch of termite mounds. It was exciting even if a bit scary.
We came down for a closer look.
We actually landed for a few minutes to see how big these mounds were, they were as tall as the helicopter. Then we zoomed between the mounds back up into the sky.
We looked down and could see the others in the airboat returning from the wetlands.
Then we were back at the pontoon and boat. When the airboat returned all the tour group boarded it for a more leisurely tour into the rain forest. It was an amazing trip into a deep dark spooky world where we saw prehistoric crocodiles.
They came very close to the boat. One actually jumped out of the water with its jaws wide open showing us its menacing teeth and pink tongue. Luckily we were protected by a wire fence around the boat and a ranger with a long pole.
They glide so quietly and almost submerged, they are hard to see.
It was the most amazing ride I have had. The scenery and wildlife was like out of another world.
We returned to the pontoon and waited for the float plane to take us back to Darwin. While we were waiting the crew were trying to feed fish to the Sea Eagles.
Finally one came down and plucked the fish from the hand of a crew member.
Then it was time to go.
The sun was setting as we returned to the airport.
I was sitting right behind the pilot. It was fun. Wow! What an adventure. I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting Darwin.